Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

Forest owners say below minimum wage rates ‘unacceptable’

4 December 2017

Forest owners say below minimum wage rates ‘unacceptable’

The Forest Owners Association has taken a strong stand on pay rate breaches by forest planting contractors.

The President, Peter Clark, says a recent MBIE audit of pay rates and conditions in three forest regions has revealed what appears to be widespread non-compliance with employment law among forest planting crews.

“We forest owners don’t pay the silviculture crews ourselves. That’s done by independent contractors. But our industry cannot condone exploitation of any sort.

“We as a major primary industry are taking a stand on this. We don’t want to deprive good workers the opportunity to earn bonus money by planting more trees in a day. But on the other hand it is unacceptable to allow inexperienced planters, or those who have to travel long distances to new locations, to be deprived of what the law specifies as minimum pay.”

“I’m not going to point any fingers, but it is clear all of us must ensure there is more transparency and compliance in the industry than is the case at the moment. We’ve already set up a working group of forest companies and contractors to ensure this happens.”

Peter Clark says getting employment compliance is crucial as the industry gears up to anticipated large scale extra planting under the new government’s billion tree target.

“There’s not many extra trees going to be planted in 2018. However, when the new planting load comes on in 2019, with many hundreds of extra planters, we have to have our employment side fully compliant with the law.”

Peter Clark says forest companies have been backing the recently begun Forest Industry Safety Council Safetree Contractor Certification scheme.

For a contractor to be certified they must provide documentation to prove they are labour law compliant. The scheme was launched in late October.

“Sixty-nine companies are already working through the process which will result in a much more transparent industry when they are certified,” Peter Clark says.

Further information on certification is available at https://safetree.nz/certification/


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Fuels Rushing In: Govt "Ready To Act" On Petrol Market Report

The Government will now take the Commerce Commission’s recommendations to Cabinet...
• A more transparent wholesale pricing regime • Greater contractual freedoms and fairer terms • Introducing an enforceable industry code of conduct • Improve transparency of premium grade fuel pricing... More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank Capital Review Decision: Increased Bank Capital Requirements

Governor Adrian Orr said the decisions to increase capital requirements are about making the banking system safer for all New Zealanders, and will ensure bank owners have a meaningful stake in their businesses. More>>

ALSO:

Aerospace: Christchurch Plan To Be NZ's Testbed

Christchurch aims to be at the centre of New Zealand’s burgeoning aerospace sector by 2025, according to the city’s aerospace strategic plan. More>>

ALSO:

EPA: Spill Sees Abatement Notice Served For Tamarind Taranaki

The notice was issued after a “sheen” on the sea surface was reported to regulators on Thursday 21 November, approximately 400 metres from the FPSO Umuroa. A survey commissioned by Tamarind has subsequently detected damage to the flowline connecting the Umuroa to the Tui 2H well. More>>

Taskforce Report: Changes Recommended For Winter Grazing

A Taskforce has made 11 recommendations to improve animal welfare in intensive winter grazing farm systems, the Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor confirmed today. More>>

ALSO: